1 month today....anti-climax

Today, I have officially not smoked for 1 whole month. My nurse told me that quitters who have managed a month are classed as successful. I thought that when I reached the golden month I would feel elated but I hate to say that I just feel kind of flat. Over Christmas I didn't wear a patch for four days - Christmas morning was so hectic that I simply forgot to apply one. I felt fantastic all day and didn't have a single craving so I got to thinking that I don't really need them anymore. BIG mistake! After a further three days of not wearing a patch, I crashed and had a total melt down. Constant crying and tantrums being thrown left, right and centre. I am now back to the patches but feel like I have let myself down in a big way :( I know I should be congratulating myself as I still haven't smoked but I just feel very sad. I think it has just hit me that I will never smoke again and I am grieving for my loss which is totally stupid. I am also scared now that when I have finished my full course of patches (another six weeks) the cravings and awful emotions will come back straight away.

Sorry for posting such a negative message but my fiance doesn't understand and I can't see my nurse until 4th Jan

On a more positive note, I hope everybody enjoys their New Years celebrations!

11 Replies

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  • Hey, its very normal at this time to feel this way. You do sort of come to realisation that thats it, no more smokes and it can feel very disturbing.

    Its just another phase to get through though, and once you do it will make you stronger.

    As a practical tip, I weaned myself off the patches by slowely cutting little strips off them. When you stop them suddenly you will feel the same hit a cold turkey quitter feels, after all, you are stopping the one thing that kept you on the smokes in the first place!

    Do it a little at a time, day by day a little more and the nicotine will leave your system gently.

    Stay strong, you have done a truly brilliant thing!

  • Hi Gemma,

    Why feel like a failure? At the end of the day you have NOT smoked for a whole month. You didn't reach for a fag when you had your 'meltdown' you stuck it out & put your patch back on. That's not failure in anyones book :D

    Try not to think of it as no more smokes for life but a freedom from addiction to nicotine & a lifetime of slavery to that same drug. That is something to rejoice, not be sad about out.

    Good luck & Happy New Year to you ;)

    Gaynor xx

  • hi gemma, well i'm on my way to four months and it does feel kinda the same, though all a bit less intense (usually!!).

    as smokers we hide from all the 'awful emotions' you mention, nicotine just pumps us full of endorphines and we can ride right through it. but of course by doing that we never realy have to face up to whatever that negative emotion was trying to get us to change - those periods of crying and tantrums are you returning to dealing with those emotions in the normal non-smoking way, which is a good thing :)

    as for the anti-climax, think of 1 month as one twelth of a year, now doesn't that sound impressive, not long till the penthouse!!

  • Ah Gemma, don't worry you are doing great. I agree with Fiona about cutting up the patches and you will have little bother coming off them slowly.

    At the bottom of our signatures there are websites with lots of stories and articles to help you stay stopped, have a read.

    Keep up the good work and by tomorrow you will be able to say you stopped smoking last year.

    Jackie

  • Well done to you. A month is fantastic, and it will be easier next time you stop the patches- there is a lot of pressure at Christmas for things to be perfect and everyone to be happy. It can also be a bit of a facer to realise that nonsmokers get pissed off/feel flat/hate the world etc too- I am as guilty as anyone of buying into some myth that everything will be wonderful for me now because I dont smoke. Shit still happens.

    In previous attempts, I sometimes hit a massive major depression, which I could feel was a physical response to the change, rather than a psychosomatic response. I coped by smoking, to stick a patch back on is a much more sensible thing to do. The important thing to remember is that this black dog hasnt come every time, so dont worry about it. I havent used patches this time- I used Zyban and then a very ocassional lozenge- maybe when you stop the patches you could have some lozenges on standby.

    Anyway, whatever you do, you will be supported.

    lots of love sandy xx

  • Thanks to everyone for your support. I feel like I let myself down by stopping the patches which then made me feel like I was back to day one. After my rant this morning, I have had a much better day today and feel more positive again. I find it really weird that I don't actually want a cigarette but instead want a hit of 'something'. I guess the 'something' is nicotine which I am getting through the lozenges but it just doesn't hit the spot the same as smoking.

    Many thanks for the suggestions of cutting strips off the patches - I will definitely give this a try.

    Here's to a smoke free 2011, we CAN do it!!

  • ...I guess the 'something' is nicotine which I am getting through the lozenges but it just doesn't hit the spot the same as smoking

    Don't guess. Craving is nowt to do with nicotine, don't fall into the trap.

    There's an obvious reason why the lozenges and the patches don't hit the spot.

    The physical withdrawal of nicotine from the body is insignificant.

    The psychological withdrawal of smoking from your life is your real battle.

    You can beat tobacco with willpower but it's a tough fight, learn why you smoke and quitting becomes a little easier.

    The feisty Michael linked to one of THE essays on smoking which deserves a read.

    knowledge is ammunition.

    stay strong :)

  • I have to completely agree with Austinlegro. The psychological battle is a much harder one than the phsyical one.

    Nicotine itself is not really that addictive. A few days and you are over it. The mental battle on the other hand is ongoing. It is responsible for those people who go back to smoking after some considerable time, there are a couple on this site who have given up for years before and yet, here they are again.

    This has nothing to do with Nicotine as that craving has long since past. Its the obscured memory of smoking helping a situation or it being enjoyable. Which we all know to be inaccurate, there is no such thing as a helpful or enjoyable cigarette. Just that one smoke that leads us back to 20-30 a day wishing we didn't smoke anymore.

    We will all come across times where we are going to struggle. I also had a tough few days at the 1 month mark and so did a few of the other October quitters. We are all still not smoking, and happily so. You will get past this bit and then be really happy you did.

    There will be other bumps in the road we are on. Just take them one at a time and you will get over them.

    Have a great smoke free New Year.

    Sian

  • ...You can beat tobacco with willpower but it's a tough fight, learn why you smoke and quitting becomes a little easier.

    Apologies for quoting my own post, what I meant to stress here is;

    You can stand eye to eye with tobacco and battle it out toe to toe grimacing all the way through blips, angst, hassle and grief then fingers crossed shake off the horrid habit.

    Or.

    You can read, learn, discover then understand why you're smoking. Even reading contrary opinions and even the pro-smoking websites will give you more information. Digest it then use it. Don't just accept what you're spoon fed from the tv, remember they're selling!

    The 'trick' to quitting is not wanting to smoke it isn't wanting to quit

    Luck is useless, knowledge is paramount.

    Happy New Year ya'll... :)

  • I think it has just hit me that I will never smoke again and I am grieving for my loss which is totally stupid.

    Firstly Gemma, well done for not giving in and just putting a patch on instead. I'm using patches too and have had days where i have simply forgotton to put a patch on. I'm still using them on and off, but mainly don't bother on days where i wouldn't smoke anyway (e.g. Sundays, for the reason that i am rarely around smokers and would quite often be hungover - i NEVER smoked when hungover). However, if i know i'm likely to be tempted, or even in situation where i would have the opportunity to smoke, i stick on a patch. Plus i ALWAYS have one on me in a bag or pocket, just in case ;)

    To comment on the quote above, i felt exactly the same - that i was 'grieving' for something (there's a post somewhere on here about the greiving process). It's such a weird one but not one i was surprised about - smoking was always a very personal thing to me; regardless of the fact that most people i know smoke. Smoking was my 'friend', my confidant (sp?), my crutch, my secret lover and more - now that has gone i do miss it.

    I think the secret of a successful quit may well be acknowledging your true feelings about smoking - why you did and even admitting you enjoyed it - helping each person to understand their addiction and, most importantly, not relapse :)

  • Of course, it is the psychological reasons that keep that Nicodemon active. You can do two things:

    [*]Understand why and modify the bahaviour

    [*]Release the psychological reasons that attract Mr Nicodemon

    Happy smoke-free 2011!

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